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Retail Guidelines

Safeguarding Guidance

The State recommends strict adherence to CDC and OSHA guidelines, as well as the Universal Guidelines for All Businesses. Additionally, the State recommends retail industries put into place an assortment of measures to protect consumers and employees, including:

Employee Protection

  • Allow employees to work from home as much as possible
  • Screen all employees reporting to work for COVID-19 symptoms with the following questions:
    • Have you been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the past 14 days?
    • Are you experiencing a cough, shortness of breath or sore throat?
    • Have you had a fever in the last 48 hours?
    • Have you had new loss of taste or smell?
    • Have you had vomiting or diarrhea in the last 24 hours?
  • Temperature screening employees:
    • Best practice: employers to take temperatures onsite with a no-touch thermometer each day upon arrival at work
    • Minimum: temperatures can be taken before arriving. Normal temperature should not exceed 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Staff should wear face coverings (not N-95 or medical masks, which should be reserved for healthcare workers) and other personal protection items as recommended by the CDC
  • Provide training on personal protective equipment based on CDC guidelines
  • Provide a sanitizing station such as a wash basin with soap and/or bottle of hand sanitizer
  • Prohibit congregating in break rooms or common areas and limit capacity of such areas to allow for safe social distancing minimum of 6 feet whenever possible
  • Stagger shifts, breaks and meals in compliance with wage and hour laws and regulations to maintain social distancing
  • Employees should increase hygiene practices—wash hands more frequently, avoid touching face, practice good respiratory etiquette when coughing or sneezing
  • Provide regular updates and training for employees about personal COVID-19 mitigation and store safeguards based on CDC guidelines
  • All employees should stay home if feeling ill, report any symptoms of illness to supervisor and require notification of COVID-19 positive case in employee’s household. Employees who are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 according to the CDC (e.g., due to age or underlying conditions) are encouraged to stay home
  • Direct any employee who exhibits COVID-19 symptoms (i.e., answers yes to any of the screening questions or who is running a fever) to leave the premises immediately and seek medical care and/or COVID-19 testing, per Tennessee Department of Health and CDC guidelines. Employers should maintain the confidentiality of employee health information.
  • Plan for potential COVID-19 cases, and work with local health department officials when needed (e.g., monitor and trace COVID-19 cases, deep clean facilities)
  • Covered employers and employees should be aware of the provisions of the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which allows for paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons, such as for self-quarantining or seeking a medical diagnosis for COVID-19 symptoms
  • Update the Employee Illness Policy to include the symptoms of “COVID-19” or create a COVID-19 specific policy. All staff should sign the policy, and the policy should be posted for confirmation
  • Post signage on health policies, including the following documents, in the workplace to help educate building occupants on COVID-19 best practices:

Consumer Protection

  • Limit the number of customers inside a store at a given time if appropriate spacing between persons cannot be maintained, as density of people within a confined area increases opportunity for virus transmission
  • Strongly encourage (or at business discretion, require) customers to wear face coverings inside the store according to CDC guidance
  • Consider dedicated shopping hours or appointment times for the elderly, medically vulnerable and health care workers
  • Establish one-way aisles and traffic patterns for social distancing
  • Increase curbside, pickup and delivery service options to minimize contact and maintain social distancing
  • Assign dedicated staff to prompt customers regarding the importance of social distancing
  • Add social distancing “reminder” signs, personal stickers, floor decals and audio announcements


Business Process Adaptations

  • Mitigate exposure in the workplace by implementing social distancing guidelines and modify scheduling
  • Practice social distancing and maintain a safe distance of 6 feet between people to the greatest extent possible— “Further is safer.”
  • Implement workplace cleaning and disinfection practices, according to CDC guidelines, with regular sanitization of high-touch surfaces at least every two hours
  • Sanitize shared resources (such as carts) after each use, and sanitizing all high-traffic / high-touch areas (such as counters, check-out lanes, keypads, break rooms, dressing rooms, rest rooms) every two hours and when visibly dirty
  • Use a clearly designated entrance and a separate clearly designated exit to maintain social distancing
  • Use plastic shields or barriers between customers and clerks at service counters and clean them frequently (every 2 hours and when visibly dirty)
  • Adjust store hours to allow time for enhanced cleaning
  • Prohibit the use of reusable bags (reusable bags may carry COVID-19)
  • Limit self-service options, suspend sampling of food and personal hygiene products
  • Task management-level employees to monitor compliance within a store